The Need for Checkups and Effects of Labels

By Jared Boon

It is interesting how strong a label, or being designated a certain way, can affect a child’s future. Whether it be at a young age or later in life, it can cause a child to enact the self-fulfilling prophecy and do the actions expected with their new “role/label.” Such as labeling a very young child who is hyperactive as “naughty,” while they are acting such as what they are, a child. Once they are prescribed this label it can create a new pathway where they are expected to act this way, or when they do not it would be considered strange by those supervising. It is human nature to try to maintain our role, but at times some individuals have the perseverance to deviate from how they are viewed.

Here is an example of one of these individuals (who himself even questioned doubting authority), where he was thought to be a “slow learner” and rather had a disorder that caused a believed disadvantage compared to his classmates. When given the time to fully complete his test and assignments the child was able to go from averaging C’s in classes to almost all A’s. One struggle with our current system is that it is like the toddler’s toy of fitting shapes into holes, but there is only one hole and belief that all children are just one shape. Children come in a wide array of “shapes” that need new holes to be created for success to be a reality. We need to possibly reshape the way our education system works, but more importantly, figure out ways that students with delays are correctly identified.

One of the goals of Achieve Brown County, in the present, is to work with local healthcare providers to make sure that children aged 0 to 5 are receiving check ups for detecting physical, socio-emotional and cognitive delays. This is important because initial data indicated the possibility that over 50% of children ages 0-3 who are identified as having potential developmental delays do not receive services. Having a service system set in place will allow for the detection of different delays and prevent them from being labeled thus leading to a negative pathway for their educational life.


[1] Schwartz, K. (2016, April 11). Rethinking intelligence: How does imagination measure up? KQED.

Published: October 25, 2018

Edited: August 5, 2021